Knowle West Health Association’s community allotment is a beautiful 1.3 acre site that comprises of vegetable growing areas, a substantial orchard, a pond, a pizza oven and large amounts of open space for playing and running. There is also a significant amount of space that isn’t currently utilised that is overgrown and underused. This project plans to clear a large, wooded area of the allotment in order to create a site suitable for Forest School sessions and other therapeutic nature activities.
The money will be used to set up and carry out the sessions starting in Autumn with the preparation stage for weekly sessions of 2 hours to clear the area of weeds, lay down woodchip, dig a fire pit, build a mud kitchen structure and carry out other small carpentry projects. This would be done in collaboration with local youth groups. These young people would have the chance to learn practical skills such as carpentry and basic conservation. As the site develops due to their work, they will also be able to learn basic bush-craft skills such as fire-lighting and knot tying. Sessions will be more than just practical skills as we also aim to reconnect young people who wouldn’t usually easily access Nature , with the natural world through reflective exercises such as writing, drawing or sitting in silence. The young people that access these groups are struggling with a range of mental health needs that are preventing them from engaging positively in their schools and communities. This project aims to counter that with positive experiences in the outdoors where they are given the opportunity to connect with each other and the natural world